The principle of any kind of property is that the owner may use it as he wishes, and that nobody else can lawfully use it without his authorisation. This does not, of course, mean that he can use it regardless of the legally recognised rights and interests of other members of society. And similarly, the owner of copyright in a protected work may use the work as he wishes, and may prevent others from using it without his authorisation.

We are able to assist with clarifying the various rights of copyright, assisting you with disputes related to copyright claims, and international copyright matters. By working alongside you, your copyright lawyer affords an extra level of confidence, giving you the space and time to create, knowing that your rights will be defended in respect of:

  • Literary works
  • Musical works
  • Artistic works
  • Cinematograph films
  • Sound recordings
  • Broadcasts
  • Programme-carrying signals
  • Published editions
  • Computer programs
  • Motion pictures / film


The South African Copyright Act allows the author or the copyright owner the privilege to authorise or prevent certain acts in relation to a creative work. The rights owner of a work can use, transfer, license, prohibit or authorise the reproduction, distribution, public performance, broadcasting, translation or adaptation of copyright material.

The Intellectual Property Commercialisation team can assist you with arrangements in respect of the following copyright matters:

  • Licensing and royalty agreements
  • Assignment and transfer of ownership
  • Motion picture agreements


In many cases, judicial proceedings can be instituted by the copyright owner to obtain relief in the case of infringement of copyright. Such proceedings can be instituted either by way of application or by action. The Intellectual Property Litigation Group at Adams & Adams will assist you with the following copyright enforcement matters:

  • Application proceedings
  • Action proceedings
  • Interdicts
  • Royalty claims

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